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brown paper packages

Friday, September 28, 2012

{silhouette winner!!}

I am posting the winner on both this site, and on my new site, because the transfer isn't quite complete.  So don't worry--the winner should be able to see it either way!!!

A HUGE congrats to...

#775, Kori!!!

I'm so excited for you!!! Please contact me at within 48 hours, or I will select a new winner.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{burlap framed decor}

I actually first made these framed burlap decorations three years ago--one of my very first posts!  (You can find the original post HERE.) I still love them, but this year I decided it was time for a little update. I am totally in love with how it turned out--I'm obsessed with ticking and burlap, so I'm always excited when I use both at the same time!

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to add fall decor (or ANY holiday--just change the word and color!) to your home, look no farther.  It's totally customizable, as you use different fabrics, lettering, and  colors.  These make darling gifts, too!  


-foam stamps or stencil
-craft paint
-coordinating fabric
-small safety pins


1.  Cut your burlap to size. I used the one I already had, which was sized to fit an 8x10 frame.

2.  Using your foam stamps (I used Making Memories foam stamps, Philadelphia style.  If you cut your own stencils on your Silhouette, it's also the Greer font.) or stencils and craft paint, add text to center of burlap.  Let dry completely.

3.  Take the glass out of your frame.  I used an 11x14 frame, so you could see plenty of fabric around the edges of the burlap.  Lay out your coordinating fabric, and trace around the picture back, leaving about an inch around the edges.  Once it's cut out, you can place it inside your picture frame, and secure it with the picture back.  You can pull the extra edges a little bit, to ensure that it's a tight fit, and that the fabric is nice and smooth.

4.  Once the fabric is secure, all you have to do is use your safety pins to pin your piece of burlap in the center.  I used small scrapbooking safety pins, oil-rubbed bronze in color.

Ta-da!  A darling piece of burlap decor!  This is seriously the easiest project ever, and you will love it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

{BIG changes ahead...}

 My goodness, this is a post that I didn't ever think I would be writing.  

    In a few days, Brown Paper Packages will not be the's getting a new name!  Yes, it's true, and it's been one of the hardest things I've had to do.  When I started this blog three years ago, I thought I was being SO creative in choosing a name. It was one that I loved, and thought would represent me what I wanted to blog about--all of my favorite things.  

Apparently I was not the only one.  :) A couple of months ago I became aware of a couple of other blogs with the same name, but it wasn't until I saw one of them being featured on a friend's blog and seeing their photo with a watermark that looked startling like mine that it really hit me.  Now, it's not that I wasn't happy for this blogger, for their success and great project--quite the opposite.  I celebrate everyone's successes, and I feel like this community is very good about encouraging and supporting one another. I want to see every blogger do well, and I consider all of them friends.  However, I don't think I'm alone in the fact that I want my work to stand on its own, and not be confused with someone else's.  

So...I did a little research, and started looking into getting the name trademarked, and discovered that Brown Paper Packages is already trademarked!  An online crafts supply company has owned the trademark since before I started my blog, and because we are basically in the same line of work, I was technically in violation of their trademark. I knew at that moment that I needed to change my name--I needed to honor their trademark and come up with a name that I loved, but that I could keep forever, and that would be my own. 

I was, and still am, incredibly sad. I have had this name for a long time, and it's become a part of me.  When I was trying to think of another name, I really struggled--I couldn't think of something that I really loved, and thought truly represented who I am.

Then it came to me. Why not use the name that I've had for my whole life? :)  
So, on September 25th, this blog will be re-named...

simply {kierste}

I will also be undergoing a total blog makeover and design change, so don't worry when you come to my page and it looks's still me!  My new url will be, so if you want to make any changes to your bookmarks, etc. it will be effective on the 25th.  Don't worry--if you still go to the brown paper packages address it will automatically forward you to the new site.  

I'm so grateful to all of you for your support and friendship--I really feel like I know you when I read your comments and e-mails--I love it.  I thank you ahead of time for your patience and understanding as this transition takes place, and if you have any questions or problems at all, you can e-mail me.  Thank you for reading--I appreciate every single one of you!  

The moral of the story:  When you are starting your own blog, and trying to come up with the perfect name, make sure you google that name first, to see if there is already a blog with that name, then check with the trademark office to see if there is an existing trademark.  It will save you in the long run, I promise!  


Friday, September 21, 2012

{rustic burlap pumpkins}

You all know I ♥ burlap, and it especially fits the fall season, and into Christmas.  I made these rustic burlap pumpkins last November for our Thanksgiving table centerpieces, and I am in love with them still. I couldn't wait to pull them out again this fall! They make a charming addition for the whole fall season, and can be used on mantels, front porches, tablescapes, and more.  

Read more »

Thursday, September 20, 2012

{back 2 basics} lil' luna


 Hi there friends!!! My name is Kristyn from Lil' Luna, and I am SOO happy to be here today on Brown Paper Packages. I just love Kierste and all her creative ideas!! I was thrilled when Kierste asked that I share a Back 2 Basics tutorial with all of you. Since my oldest started Preschool last week, I thought it would be perfect to share with you the little Back to School Gift we made for her. I'm always trying to think of practical gifts and thought this next one would be good for any teacher. It can be filled with goodies or other red or green school supplies. I had found these cute paper clips at Target and knew these would be perfect. Here is how you can make it too...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

{silhouette giveaway & promo!!}

Guess what!!! I'm in Michigan for Home Depot's Celebration of Service kickoff, and already I've met some fabulous bloggers and can't wait to meet more! I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's project, and can't wait to tell you all about it.

Meanwhile...there is a new Silhouette promo I want to tell you about, AND a............


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{polka dot glass pumpkin} featuring martha stewart glass paint

I was asked to review the new Martha Stewart glass paint, and I was so excited to try it!

I've had this pumpkin glass jar in my cupboards for years, and I decided this was the perfect time to give it a little facelift.  I love the end result, and the fact that with a little paint, a total transformation took place!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

{twine & berry wreath}

Usually my fall decorations are up on September 1st, but this year I'm a little late to the game.  I think it might be the weather--this week we had a "cold front", which I found out in Texas terms meant only 90 degrees, lol.  However, the mornings were beautiful, and walking out one morning to take my girls to school I finally felt like fall was on its way.  It's my most favorite season, and I love that I can keep the decorations out from September all the way through November!  

I made a wreath for my front door, but I also needed one for the window that's on my mantel.  I looked through my bins of fall decorations, and found a twine wreath and berry garland that I thought would be a perfect combination!  I LOVE LOVE how it turned out, and it was so simple!  

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Friday, September 14, 2012

{fit friday} getting started!

A new school year often marks the start of many new things. For kids it often times means a new teacher, new friends, new shoes, etc. Mom's may be encountering many new things as well - new meal planning schedule, new routine, new wake-up time, and quite possibly new free time with less kids at home. 

Whatever it may be I want you to try something NEW for yourself at this back-to-school time of year. Eating right is the BIGGEST part of our overall health and weight but following right behind is exercise. Even if it doesn't affect our weight immediately it definitely affects our physical body inside and out
 (and I believe it helps with not just our physical make-up as well)!

 If you are already an exerciser - up your pace, try a new class, switch something up. Maybe you're an exerciser who goes through stints of inactivity - take it up again - recommit yourself. If you're someone who wants to get into working out but for whatever reason hasn't done it yet - now is your time!

Here are some tips to get you started:
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

{back 2 basics} gingersnap crafts